Join us each Sunday morning this fall at Congregation Mickve Israel for Sunday School at 9:00 and Worship at 10:00. Childcare available.
In 1734, protestant exiles from Salzburg, Germany arrived in the new colony of Georgia and settled at Ebenezer – up river of the British in Savannah. They practiced Lutheran worship and sacraments, and as Savannah grew, their pastors eventually began conducting regular services for the Lutherans settling in Savannah. The congregation, which would become The Evangelical Lutheran Church of the Ascension, organized in 1741.
As the country forged its identity in the late 18th century and early 19th century, so too did Ascension. In 1771 the present site on which the church stands was purchased, and in 1790 its charter was granted by Governor Edward Telfair. The first full-time pastor was called in 1828 and organized the Sunday school that same year.
In 1844 a new brick church was built, but it would not last through the decades of antebellum hostility, war and reconstruction. In the mid 1870’s the church was growing, and the congregation decided to remodel and enlarge their church. The floors were lowered to be level with the sidewalk; the second story was added using the thick side walls of the 1844 church; the entrance was changed; and the steeple was built to the height of 225 feet. Included in the remodel was a stained glass window over the altar. The window depicted the Risen Lord ascending into heaven with the disciples at his feet. It was in 1879 that the church took on the name “Ascension” as it had become known for the beautifully crafted window.
The 20th and 21st centuries have seen numerous renovations and acquisitions leading to the development of the Ascension we know today. In 1919 the current stained-glass memorial windows were installed along the North and South walls of the sanctuary. In 1968, Captain Butler’s, the 6 acre retreat facility on Whitemarsh Island along Richardson creek, was given to the church. Crumley Hall, the street level fellowship hall, was refurbished in 2003, and in 2007 the outreach and office building at 6 East State Street was purchased.
On April 14th, 2016, Ascension celebrated its 275th anniversary.